What Aisha Buhari told BBC – INTERVIEW

Aisha Buhari
Aisha Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari’s wife, Aisha, spoke to the BBC last week, about some appointments made by her husband, and warned that she may not support his re-election in 2019 if the president fails to shake up his cabinet.

The president fired back by saying the first lady belongs in the kitchen.

PREMIUM TIMES has obtained from the BBC, an audio of the interview. Mrs. Buhari spoke in Hausa and English languages. This version was conducted in Hausa, and was translated by PREMIUM TIMES’ Sani Tukur.

BBC: Almost two years after President Muhammadu Buhari was elected into this government; it appears as if things are not going well, the people are complaining; where do you think the problem is?

Aisha Buhari: From my own observation, being a housewife, I think security wise; we have relatively achieved more than 100 percent. Being someone that comes from the North east, I knew when almost nobody sleeps in his or her house. But now, people sleep with their two eyes closed.

The hardship that people are going through now was anticipated, knowing what we inherited. It is not going to be a smooth journey; but I think so far so good. The only thing that almost everybody is not happy with, including myself, is on those that really suffered for this journey and now people who do not even have registration cards are guiding us, which is so unfair and unfortunate for the journey that we started more than 13 years ago.

BBC: But some will say whenever you are elected into government, you have to bring in professionals, experts who know how to do the job and not just politicians?

Aisha Buhari: Yeah; but if you look at the journey that we had; after the merger, we didn’t call it merger or APC again, we called it a movement because it was a collective effort of millions of people, only for us to find out that the government is being operated by a few people.  Very few, in the sense that we have may be four to six people that really started the journey with us in the system.

Unfortunately, the people that are occupying the seats, I don’t think they have any expertise that our supporters in APC do not have. We have supporters all over the world. Those who really supported APC and felt that enough is enough, let us have sanity in the society; it was a real collective effort.

Nobody will say that ‘it was as a result of my hard work that I brought this government’; it was a real team work and we wish that the team work should continue.

Everybody knows what my husband wants to achieve in four years. But having new set of people on board that were not part of us, they don’t really know what we promised Nigerians and that is the thing we are facing now.

BBC: Who are these 4 to 5 people you are talking about?

Aisha Buhari: People like Ogbonnaya Onu, Amaechi, Fashola, after the merger it was a huge group that came together and started the struggle again.  It is sad that very few are in the system now. Though I heard that they are about to announce like 3000 names as Board members; we feel that those that have started the struggle should not be limited to Board members; they should be in positions like heading agencies that will impact positively on the lives of Nigerians.

Knowing what we have campaigned for, only for us to bring people that are busy telling people that they are not politicians but they are occupying seats that were brought in by politicians. This is a huge disrespect for politicians. Knowing that we are just starting, we have not got to 2017, talk less of 2018 and then 2019 for us to go back to the polls; you understand what I mean?

BBC: Who are these very few people as you said surrounding President Muhammadu Buhari, and have you spoken to him about this?

Aisha Buhari: Yeah. Not only me in person, because after receiving complaints upon complaints, I decided to tell him. But all the same, a lot of people have been coming on their own and also collectively to tell him that things are not going the way it should when it comes to putting people in certain positions. Because most of those that are occupying positions in agencies, nobody knows them and they themselves don’t know our party manifesto; what we campaigned for; they were not part of us completely. People were sitting down in their houses, folding their arms only for them to be called to come and head an agency or a ministerial position. They don’t have a mission or vision of our APC, you understand what I mean?

BBC: Whose fault is this?

Aisha Buhari: It’s the fault of 15.429 million people because they are the ones that brought in the government. It’s their fault!

BBC: But theirs is just to elect APC and President Muhammadu Buhari and he is the one that is supposed to be in charge; is he not?

Aisha Buhari: Because they elected him; that’s why he is here. If they can stand firm and strengthen the party and tell everybody that ‘No! We can’t take this; we can’t take you because you are not a card carrying member, you don’t know what we want to achieve within so and so time’. Fifteen point something million people is a huge number that can control a country.

BBC: Somebody listening to this will feel like President Muhammadu Buhari is not in charge of this government?

Aisha Buhari: It is left for the people to decide whether he is in charge or he is not in charge. People actually accepted his ideology and decided to follow him for the past 13 years. That is what brought him to this current position.

BBC: As his wife, what will be your advice to him going forward?

Aisha Buhari: My advice is to the whole people that voted for him. They should strengthen the party and whoever is not part of the party should not have control over fifteen point something million people. We are in a democracy and not military era, so we have to play it well and leave a legacy.

BBC: What you are saying is that if things continue like this, you will not leave any legacy?

Aisha Buhari: As a person, I have my right to say how I feel about something. If it continues like this, me I am not going to be part of any movement again, because I need to work with the people that we started the journey with collectively so that we can achieve what we want to achieve, so that he would leave a legacy.

BBC: Have you told your husband all this?

Aisha Buhari: Yeah! He knows! At my own level, I have done it personally. I have also listened to people’s complaints and I tried to tell him what they are coming to tell me so that if there is anything to be corrected; it can be corrected.


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  • Teflonjones

    Aisha buhari has spoken well, as PMB would never listen to the voice of reason. The response to Aisha in faraway Germany is truly a national catastrophic embarrassment in a world where gender equality stays trend8.

  • Darlington

    The gods are angry with Buhari.

    • Conscience

      “He (President) is yet to tell me
      (if he will contest in 2019) but I have decided as his wife, that if
      things continue like this up to 2019, I will not go out and campaign again and
      ask any woman to vote like I did before. I will never do it again”.


  • Splek

    This is the real translation of what she said. Nothing bad is written hear.

  • Peter_Edo

    A woman should never denigrate her husband in any way shape or form talk less of the almighty BBC!!!

    • W. Smile

      People should tell it like it is. This woman is a very good and sincere human being. She stood on the podium in Edo and promised the women that her husband would end the sex traffic that their young girls are made to engage in in Europe due to hardship. Can she look herself in the mirror these days after all other promises broken? Even Tinubu is avoiding his toilet mirrors. Yours truly is avoiding talking politics with wifey,what am I gonna tell her after all the promises,and jubilation that follows the last general election? Buhari break the hearts of millions,not just his wife’s.

      • smart

        Right on point.. When we talk, people will label us PDP… sometimes I just choose to keep silent.

        • Reasonable

          @smile & Smart,
          Just tell the world what political/administration portfolio is she holding or party does she belong to air her frustration with PMB. She is not a party (APC) chieftain, neither is she his political adviser or personal assistant. So why is she complaining about his appointments.
          Furthermore, if she was the one giving names for appointment as obtained in the past governments, two things would definitely come to pass:
          1. She won’t complain about the appointments.
          2. And same you people here would abuse Aisha of running this government activities.
          We have two types of married men:
          a) Those who their wives interfere in all aspects of their life activities,
          b) And those who allow their wives to interfere in only those things that concerns the family.
          All men belong to one of a or b.

          • smart

            I really don’t get your point. Does she have to be a politician to air her view? She is a Nigeria and has every legal right of a citizen.
            She said expectations are not met because those appointed didn’t make promises and had no idea of what the real plans were.
            I agree that we’ve not heard things going to plan. It doesn’t matter who PMB appoints, what we need is result.
            Finally, my vote was not only for the fight against corruption but includes a better economy for all – improvement in the standard of living of the citizenry. I often say, If all PMB can bring to the table is anti corruption, then he has no business been president. He should be appointed EFCC chair.
            While fighting corruption to a halt is my dream and that of most Nigeria, having better economy that affect the masses is too important to be ignored. The prices of things are getting out of hand. The government must prioritize the living standard of Nigerians. Thanks.

    • Jana God

      Thanks Peter.

  • Benny

    The truth of the matter is that this woman sees what most Nigerians are not seeing. Buhari has been caged by Mamman Daura, El-Rufai, Ibikunle Amosu and others while leaving persons like Tinubu and others that fought tooth and nail for the emergence of Buhari as the President to be outsiders in this current government. Aisha has the right to speak her mind.

    • W. Smile

      Buhari has lost it bro!

      • smart

        Just my thought

    • KekeOj

      What a revealing interview!

  • vagabonds in power

    The issue here is this–Buhari it was who permitted his so-called secondhand wife to grant the BBC an interview—-My question is in what capacity did she talk to the BBC-? Was it as a House wife of Bingo Buhari—-or the first Lady of Nigeria-? Aware Bingo Buhari said his wife—-whom he married at 9, would never play the role of first lady-Again is Buhari now telling us he did not permit his wife to talk to the media—–in London————-?————-The final verdict is that the two of them have no business in aso rock—any longer———-Having been planted there by the CIA————-we ask that they vacate the premises with immediate effect— since they have become a National disgrace——-to us———

    • W. Smile


    • deltavoice

      There is one mad man that writes rubbish on walls and fences in and around phc. I am confident that madman must be you or your silly,foolish,lazy,illiterate drunk father.
      Born trowey!

  • Excisionist

    The impression one has about northern Nigeria Muslim women is that they are neither meant to be seen nor heard. But Mrs Buhari has shown herself to be different, apparently due to her education and family background. She is highly educated compared to Buhari and she comes from a powerful well to do family there in the North.

    Her statements in the interview show that she can connect with the feelings and aspirations of ordinary Nigerians. She can as well connect with their sufferings at this time and, despite the risks, she is not afraid to say it. By this, she has earned my respect and, I believe, the respect of millions of Nigerians. She thinks like a true leader. The one that Nigeria is yet to have.

    @thussspokez has described the consequence of Buharis’ reaction in the most appropriate way. He talks like someone who does not understand the world we live in. He has stirred the hornet’s nest. Not ony German women, women around the world, Particularly in the West will be up in arms. I pity Buhari, not because o what Aisha said but because of consequences of his own reckless utterances.

  • realist

    Very articulate and sincere comments. She has said similar things in the minds of sincere Nigerians not the sycophants or the charlatans. I which Buhari will think deep on the suggestions and act wisely on them. The present team with Buhari has brought more negatives than the positives. Mrs Buhari opinions cannot be explained away by Lai Mohammed, and others in the presidency.

    • Ola

      #realist it might be true Aisha had said her mind. It could also be that she is saying the mind of others; being their puppet!
      The fact is that some of her comments are true, but unfortunately, if the party APC is relatively quiet, they are part of Buhari’s decisions. That is part of the unfortunate things in a democracy; NO ONE GETS TO DO THE RIGHT THING, OR ANYTHING AT ALL WITHOUT ANOTERS’ APPROVAL. Whether the other person is right or sane, or not!

  • John A


    Can the press (PT) help in the release of this girl?

  • Peter

    Now that the PDP wailing Wailers who have been struggling to ‘support’ Aisha have read the interview, are they still supporting her because she ‘captured our minds’ or are they withdrawing support to her now that they know she was talking of strengthening APC and empowering its members with key offices? I just laugh at the pedestrian minds of the PDP wailer. He is so automated and fixated that he supports just anything it feels is against his nemesis called Buhari. He applauds even when he is being sentenced to death. Aisha, I support you jor. APC should take over the government it brought to power and show these PDP rats more peep. PMB, I hope you are listening?

    • smart

      You fail to understand.. Nigeria is more than party. Let all the right people be put in position to reposition this nation because the masses are suffering. It does not matter if all of them are APC members or not.. What is important is getting the job done. As long as the job is not done right, expect people to talk.

  • deltavoice

    Aisha is an upright woman, that’s what Patience Dame Jonathan (mama piss) failed to do. She lured her puppet on and on just like lady Macbeth in Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

  • Riot50000

    IQ BELOW 50.
    This woman married a loser, a tyrant, a block head who happens to be too uneducated to manage his post.
    Why don’t African women take over the daily activities of African affairs?
    African women are more grounded, more sensible and more with reality than African Neanderthalmen who have ruined a beautiful continent forever.
    One thing though, when we run out resources, we come and take the land, kill all the worthless Nigggers, and enslave the remaining ones to do our Agriculture and chores.
    Nigggers, a waste of God’s Oxygen.

    • Bakanridi

      At last, Mrs Buhari proved to be the REAL FULANI woman and wife that can tell the truth even to someone so dear to her. Can you imagine Madam Billionaires for Ex Perm. Sec (in absentia) Madam “Peace” or DIARIS GODoooooo! would have the audacity to tell her husband such blunt truth?

      Keep it up Hajiya that’s what wives are there for: they are councellors to their husbands. Keep on telling Oga PMB the truth until he flushes out those flies that surrounded him and made ordinary masses felt disappointed in him.

      • Riot50000


        • The-LAW

          Hei get your banana ass to the pigs . Dick head

          • Riot50000

            Hey Monkey, I have some Bananas for you.
            Jungle Man

  • Charlie

    They are laying the foundation of power transfer to Aisha, which may not be a bad thing if it is done democratically. Anyone that thinks that she just woke up and on her own decided to criticize her husband openly is naïve. I think they floating a trial balloon or perhaps Mr. Buhari is no more capable of running the country due to failing health and the beautiful first lady is warning Nigerians of a cabal that is plotting to take over like they did with Yar adua .

  • Right Minded

    I know Premium Times will come out with their own version of the interview by hiding some words of Aisha Buhari. We already know everything she said do u don’t need to bother bringing out ur own translation just to disallow or deny Nigerians the real truth. Anyway we heard Buhari is about filing for a divorce in a Sharia court. God is not done with Nigeria and Buhari yet. We are reaping what we sowed.

  • Excisionist

    @Jana God you have said nothing.
    Actually she has scored Buhari high in everything except political appointments, high scores that he does not deserve, Even if she erred, why would Buhari disgrace Nigeria and whole of Africa by the gaff he made in Germany about his wife Aisha?
    You come from a place where women from age of 6 (childhood) are put in “puda”, ba shiga”, not to be seen and not to be heard. We take exception to your narrow minded opinion

    • Jana God

      You are an alien to the laws of the land and the regulations binding the type is contractual wedlock Aisha took with Buhari. I therefore excuse your ignorance.

  • NwaIgbo

    I have great admiration for the President and his wife, but exposing husband-wife disagreement is not for public consumption. In any healthy marriage a wife can fiercely disagree with the husband within the confines of the matrimonial home but never to expose the husband’s weakness to the public. On the husband’s part, denigrating the wife publicly is very distasteful, every real man seeks for the elevation of the nobility of womanhood. The days of women only manning the kitchen and the bedroom are long gone and anachronistic.
    I sincerely pray for this marriage, we the Nigerian people do not need this distraction now.

  • Toughie Man

    Straight to the point! No need to mince words. forthright. articulate and courageous. Who else can say it better than you, Aisha? Seeing what Michelle Obama is doing currently, she handles hers with tact an decorum, more matured and broader view of issues than Aisha. Here is what Gloria Steinem said about Michelle Obama:Michelle Obama came
    into my life in stages. I knew that, like her husband, she was a Harvard-educated lawyer, but that unlike him, she had grown up on the South Side of Chicago, with parents who had not gone to college. When Barack Obama was a summer associate at her Chicago law firm, they met because she was his mentor. After his successful campaign for the U.S. Senate, I noticed that she chose not to go to Washington. Instead, he commuted to their home and two daughters in Chicago where Michelle had a big job as head of community affairs for a hospital. But she really entered my imagination once she became first lady, a tall, strong, elegant and seriously smart woman who happened to live in the White House. She managed to convey dignity and humor at the same time, to be a mother of two daughters and insist on regular family dinners, and to take on health issues and a national food industry addicted to unhealthy profits. She did this despite an undertow of bias in this country that subtly questioned everything she did. Was she too strong, physically and intellectually, to be a proper first lady?

    After a decade under a public microscope, she has managed what no other first lady — and few people in any public position — have succeeded in doing: She has lived a public life without sacrificing her privacy and authenticity. She made her husband both more human and effective as a president by being his interpreter and defender, but also someone we knew was capable of being his critic. Eventually, she spoke up about the pain of the racist assumptions directed at her, but she waited until her husband could no longer be politically punished for her honesty. And she has always been the best kind of mother, which means insisting that fathers be equal parents. All of this she has done with honesty, humor and, most important, kindness.


    What you just wrote is very disgusting!

    • Jana God

      It’s a free world. The difference is that we all reason at different wavelengths.
      You are not barred from stating your opinion instead of ejecting yourself into other people’s statements and with nothing to add on.
      We are all entitled to individual opinions and points of views dear.